On This Day

February 20

maple leaf Today's Canadian Headline...
1988 ORSER WINS SILVER, LOSES BATTLE OF BRIANSCalgary Alberta – Brian Orser wins his second Silver Medal in Men’s Figure Skating at the Calgary Olympic games; he repeated his result in Sarajevo in 1984; narrowly loses the ‘Battle of the Brians’ against US figure skater Brian Boitano, who takes the Gold.

And in Today's Canadian Birthdays...

Phil Esposito 1942-
hockey centre, born on this day at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in 1942. Esposito was originally a member of the Chicago Blackhawks (1963-67), and was sent to Boston in 1967. Over the next eight seasons, aided by Bobby Orr on the blueline, he rewrote the NHL record books, becoming the first player in NHL history to score 100 points in a season (126 in 1969) and, two seasons later, set single-season standards of 76 goals and 152 points, which stood until Gretzky arrived on the scene. Over a five-year period (1970-71 to 1974-75), he scored 55 or more goals and totaled 127 points or more in each season with combined totals of 326 goals and 687 points. He was a 6-time NHL 1st teamer and 2-time MVP (1969, 1974) and 5-time NHL scoring champion. He was a star of the 1972 Canada-Soviet series. In 1975, he was dealt to the New York Rangers, where he was top scorer for four years, and helped them to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1979. He served as GM of the NY Rangers 1986-88 and is President-GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Espo had 778 career goals – he is 4th in NHL scoring after Gretzky, Howe and Dionne – and was the first League player to get 70 goals in one season (see below)


And in Other Canadian Birthdays...

Joshua Slocum 1844-1909
sea captain, adventurer, author, was born on this day in 1844 in Wilmot County, Nova Scotia; died at sea in late November, 1909. Slocum grew up in Westport, Briar Island, NS; ran away to sea at age 16 and eventually owned his own vessels. His Voyage of the Liberdade (1890) tells of sailing a trading ship with his family on board. In 1893, his business foundering, he rebuilt a 13 ton 36 foot New England oyster sloop, The Spray, and from April 1895 to June 1898 sailed around the world single-handedly, the first man in history to do so. You can read about this exciting 46,000 mile journey in his Sailing Alone Around the World (1900).
Also Beverly ‘Buffy’ Sainte-Marie 1941-
singer, songwriter, was born on this day in 1941 to a Cree mother at Craven, Saskatchewan, on the Piapot Reserve. Sainte-Marie was sent out for adoption, and raised in Maine. She started out her singing career in folk, and wrote the popular protest song Universal Soldier for her debut album, It’s My Way (1964). Other albums include Many a Mile (1965), Little Wheel Spin and Spin (1966), Fire and Fleet and Candlelight (1967), I’m Gonna Be a Country Girl Again (1968), She Used to Wanna Be a Ballerina (1971), Moonshot (1972), Quiet Places (1973), Native North American Child (1974) and Sweet America (1976). For more on Buffy, check out Canoe’s Encyclopedia of Canadian Music.

Also Graham Spry 1900-
Canadian radio pioneer, was born on this day in 1900 at St Thomas Ontario. Spry founded the Canadian Radio League to promote Canadian broadcasting.

Also Vincent Massey 1887-1967
statesman, was born on this day in 1887 at Toronto; died Dec 30, 1967 in London, England. Massey was the first Canadian to serve as Governor General of Canada (1952-59).


In Other Events…
1993 Ottawa Ontario – Constitutional Affairs Minister Joe Clark announces he will not seek re-election; led Tories for 7 years, Prime Minister June 1979 to March 1980; MP for High River for 21 years.
1992 Toronto Ontario – Painter A. J. Casson dies at age 93; last surviving member of the Group of Seven; specialized in watercolours of Ontario towns.
1990 Ottawa Ontario – Finance Minister Michael Wilson brings in deficit trimming federal budget; no new taxes; cuts $2.5 billion in transfer payments, squeezing the provinces; cancels Polar 8 Icebreaker; freezes CBC budget.
1985 Primrose Alberta – First successful US cruise missile test in Canadian airspace; released from a B-52 bomber over Beaufort Sea, the missile successfully makes its way to the target in Alberta.
1982 Ottawa Ontario – Immigration Department to relax Canadian refugee policy, allowing more to remain in Canada.
1969 Ottawa Ontario – John Munro 1931- announces formation of Hockey Canada, federal corporation to develop a national hockey team; Canadian Health Minister
1964 Shawinigan Quebec – Terrorists raid armoury in Shawinigan.
1961 Washington DC – John George Diefenbaker 1895-1979 holds talks with President Kennedy in Washington.
1961 Ottawa Ontario – Start of 12-year federal-provincial program of aeromagnetic surveys to pinpoint Canada’s mineral wealth.
1959 Ottawa Ontario – Defence Minister George Pearkes announces the Diefenbaker Cabinet decision to cancel AVRO CF-105 Arrow interceptor project because of costs; Bomarc-B missiles to be installed; A. V. Roe President Crawford Gordon immediately fires 5,000 of 10,000 employees; 14,000 in the industry eventually lose their jobs. Recent comments by former Minister Pierre Sevigny bring into question who ordered the seven existing aircraft scrapped
1958 Ottawa Ontario – Secretary of State Ellen Fairclough is Acting Prime Minister during absence of John Diefenbaker, campaigning in Newfoundland.
1945 Ottawa Ontario – Government issues Canada’s first Family Allowance cheques.
1930 Ottawa Ontario – Ottawa transfers control of BC natural resources to the province of British Columbia; under the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement
1915 NWT – Vilhjalmur Stefansson 1879-1962 maps coast of Banks Island to Alfred Point.
1894 Ottawa Ontario – Supreme Court rules Manitoba Catholics have no grounds for appeal of Manitoba School Act of 1890; decision appealed to Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
1865 Quebec Quebec – Legislative Council of Canada votes 45-15 for Confederation.
1808 Toronto Ontario – Joseph Willcocks d1814 jailed for making ‘false, slanderous, and highly derogatory’ statements about members of the Assembly; Leader of the Opposition in Upper Canada.
1796 Holland Landing Ontario – Queen’s Rangers cut out Yonge St. 55 km to Pine Fort Landing on Lake Simcoe; to Georgian Bay by Feb. 27
1666 Montreal Quebec – Rene-Robert Cavelier de La Salle 1643-1687 arrives in New France and settles at Montreal.
In World Events…
1990 Moscow Russia – Soviet Parliamentary leaders draft law to let republics break away from USSR; secession proposals to be decided by referenda.
1985 Dublin Eire – Sale of contraceptives legalized in republic of Ireland.
1974 Houston Texas – Gordie Howe, out of action since Sept 1971, comes out of retirement to play hockey with his sons Marty and Mark for the Houston Aeros; has four-year contract for $1 million.
1971 Boston Massachusetts – Boston Bruin Phil Esposito the first NHL player to score 50 goals before March; ends the season with a 76; a record that stands until it is broken by Wayne Gretzky in 1982.
1962 Boston Massachusetts – US astronaut John Glenn launched him into earth orbit in Mercury capsule Friendship VII; first American.
1947 London England – Lord Louis Mountbatten appointed Viceroy of India; the last to serve.
1944 New York City- Batman & Robin comic strip premiers in US newspapers.
1943 Mexico – New volcano Paracutin erupts in farmer’s corn patch.
1942 Indonesia – Japanese invade Portuguese Timor.
1941 Poland – Nazis order Polish Jews barred from using public transportation; first transport of Jews to concentration camp from Plotsk.
1938 London England – British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden resigns from Cabinet in protest at Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement toward Germany.
1927 South Carolina – Golfers in South Carolina arrested for violating the Sabbath.
1921 Teheran Iran – Riza Khan Pahlevi seizes control of Iran.
1846 Lahore India – British occupy Sikh citadel of Lahore.
1816 Rome Italy – Rossini premieres his opera The Barber of Seville in Rome.
1811 Vienna Austria – Austria declares itself bankrupt.
1809 Washington DC – US Supreme Court rules that the federal government’s power is greater than that of any state.
1809 Zaragoza Spain – Zaragoza falls to French under Lannes after long siege; the city rejected Napoleon’s brother Joseph as king of Spain.
1792 Washington DC – US postal service created; postage 6-12¢ depending on distance.
1653 North Sea – English fleet defeat Dutch under Van Tromp at the Battle of Portland.
Today’s Global Birthdays…
1966 Dekalb Illinois – Cindy Crawford, super model, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.
1955 USA – Kelsey Grammer, actor, Dr Frasier Crane in Cheers and Frasier.
1954 San Francisco California – Patty Hearst Shaw, heiress, kidnap hostage named Tanya.
1949 Gottwaldov Czechoslovakia – Ivana Trump, ex-wife of Donald Trump.
1924 USA – Sidney Poitier, actor, Porgy & Bess, A Raisin in the Sun.
1916 Brooklyn NY – Jackie Gleason, comedian, Ralph Kramden in The Honeymooners.
1904 Russia – Aleksei N Kosygin, Soviet premier 1964-80.
1898 Italy – Enzo Ferrari, sportscar manufacturer, Ferrari.
1632 England – Thomas Osborne Duke of Leeds, English Chief Minister, founder of the Tory Party.

Today in Canadian History is written, compiled, edited and produced by Ottawa Researchers © 1984-2002.

All Rights Reserved.

Please email your comments & suggestions to at: Ottawa Researchers


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